Omicron activity picks up pace as world enters pandemic year 3




Omicron variant activity is surging across the country ahead of the New Year’s holiday, and while evidence is building that infections are less severe, the high volume of cases could still stress hospitals, federal health officials said today at a White House briefing.

In global developments, Omicron hot spots drove the global total higher, as new scientific findings had good news about booster doses and immune response to Omicron.

Worrying surges, but brightening prospects for lower severity

Rochelle Walensky, MD, PhD, who directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the 7-day average is at 240,400 cases a day, a 60% increase compared to the previous week. She added that hospitalizations—which typically lag cases—are averaging 9,000 a day, up 14% compared to the previous week.

In its latest Nowcast estimate, the CDC pared back the percentage of Omicron cases to 58.6% of sequenced cases, down from 73% the week before, reflecting that while Omicron is still dominant, especially in some regions, the nation is still feeling the impact from Delta.



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